Friday 24 November 2017

Cricket: Anderson's maiden ton digs Ireland out of hole

David Townsend in Deventer

JOHN ANDERSON battled to his maiden international century on a tricky pitch as Ireland were bowled out for 332 on the first day of their InterContinental Cup clash with the Netherlands.

John Mooney weighed in with his first half-century since 2011 and Kevin O'Brien made 48 including a six and three fours before 15-year-old spinner Daniel Doram mopped up the Irish tail for figures of 5-82. The fact that tall left-armer Doram was extracting turn and bounce in the final session will not be lost on George Dockrell when the Netherlands begin their pursuit of 183 to avoid the follow on.

Merrion skipper Anderson's pragmatic style may not be pleasing on the eye but his impressive patience and quiet run accumulation were exactly what Ireland required after O'Brien had won the toss. Young guns Andy Balbirnie and James Shannon went before lunch – the latter given lbw despite an audible edge – and Ireland needed to dig in when Andrew White was legitimately pinned in front immediately after the break.

Anderson and O'Brien did so in a partnership of 89 for the fourth wicket that was holding out the hope of a total in excess of 400 when the Ireland captain was caught at slip.

After offering a half-chance to slip himself on 97, Anderson reached his century on the stroke of tea from 246 balls. He had struck six fours and a six when he fell 64 deliveries later for 127. Mooney then opened his shoulders and cleared the long boundaries twice before he was last out for 63.

Meanwhile, Lucy O'Reilly, the 13-year-old daughter of former international Peter, is set to become the youngest Ireland international in history after being named in a squad of 14 for the Women's World T20 qualifiers in and around Dublin.

Irish Independent

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